Skip to main content

Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

See other formats

Friends averred that it was a masterly compromise, wherein nothing
was given up and all is referred to the future. On the other, the view taken
by the Polish Government, and shared by not a few in this country, that it
amounts to little more or less than a complete acceptance of the Russian
point of view. This also, let me say, is my own view, and it is one which
I can assure you, Sir, is at least widely shared in Scotland.
... I want to deal in the first instance with the excuse which has been
put forward—What else could we have done ? I do not say that has been
put forward to-day, but I have heard it before. Quite apart from the
unworthiiiess of such a reason being put forward by a great Power which has
been dealing, presumably, on a equal footing with other great Powers in a
conference, in my view it would have been better to say frankly that we
could not, in this instance, agree. . . .
Then it is said : " If that is the line you take, then you would have left
the Poles in Poland to what you consider to be a Russianised Lublin
Government and done nothing for them.'5 On the whole, and taking the
admittedly pessimistic view of the future of the Poles under the arrangements
which have been reached, which I do, I would answer : " Yes, I do not think
they would have been much worse oil." Believe rne, I am not only thinking,
or even mainly thinking, in this respect of Poland; I arn thinking of this
country. Had we refused to agree, and stuck to the Arciszewski
Government . . . we would at least now have no cause to be ashamed.
If it is said further that had we done so we would have found ourselves in
complete diplomatic isolation, why then, I can only marvel that even now>
at this late hour, we have still not learned the lesson of 1940—that it is a
very little thing to stand alone if we are convinced that we are standing for
the right, nor, in that cause, will we ever lack friends for long. . . .
. . . Without, I trust, causing any provocation, perhaps I may illustrate
the situation as I see it by a simple simile. It is as if I saw someone3 to whom
I was bound by ties somewhat in excess of the ordinary ties of humanity,
in the embrace of a bear. My expressions of concern are met by all sorts
of re-assuring and soothing words. I am told that this bear is, in fact, a tame
bear ; I am reminded that bears have many engaging qualities, that they
love honey and that they occasionally indulge in a playfulness which is
almost human ; as to what is happening before my eyes, I am told that I
can talk as much as I like about a bear's hug but that is nothing more or less
than prejudice and, in fact, this is merely the bear's way of showing his
affection. Well, that may be, but I cannot help feeling that history^ natural
and otherwise, is in this matter on my side. What has been done in the
Crimea Conference has been done, but I for one cannot join in the chorus
of approval which has greeted its doing. ... I feel I cannot allow it to
pass without registering a definite but uncompromising protest.
Captain Graham (Conservative) . . . The system of Government
where the rights and development of the individual are sacred, cannot
exist peacefully side by side with another system of government, where the
individual simply does not count. For the one system to live, the other
must die. Therefore it was, I presume, with an equally deep conviction
on the part of the three Heads of State at Yalta of the vital necessity of the
rights of the individual that, in their pronouncement on the Polish question,
they insisted on free and unfettered elections being held in Poland as soon as
possible and based on universal suffrage and a secret ballot. Of course it
would not be possible to consider Poland truly liberated unless the Poles
could claim and practise such an elementary form of democracy. . . .
the right of all peoples to choose the form of Government under
which they would live.   If the three Heads of Government are sincere in